About Us


The mission of NCDXF is to provide necessary support for well-organized DXpeditions to desirable DXCC entities.


The Northern California DX Foundation is a private foundation described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  It was founded in 1972 to assist worthwhile amateur radio and scientific projects with funding and equipment.  NCDXF's funding comes entirely from voluntary contributions from members and friends, from grants from other foundations and organizations, and from investment income generated from the Foundation's initial $250,000 endowment.  An eleven member Board of Directors oversees all of the Foundation's business. These Directors and the volunteer advisors who assist them have held responsible positions in the business or academic worlds.  They all are active amateur radio operators.  The Foundation does not have a paid staff, and no Foundation officer, director or advisor receives a salary or compensation in any form.


It’s 1972 in San Francisco.  Four avid DXers met in the kitchen of Vince Chinn, then K6KQN and now W6EE, to discuss Vince’s idea for a foundation that would qualify as a tax-exempt entity based upon its educational and technical contributions.  Vince’s idea was that a foundation could be established to encourage tax-deductible contributions from DXers that would be used to support DXpeditions to new and rare countries, help with the QSL chores, and perhaps help with radios and other equipment that would bring new ones on the air.

Vince thought that maybe 20-25 DXers would be interested in helping provide the funding. Jack Troster, W6ISQ, Lee Shaklee, W6BH, and Don Schliesser, K6RV, sitting around Vince’s kitchen table, all thought it was a great idea and each contributed $100 as seed money to get the organization going.  Shortly thereafter, Lee, W6BH, made a substantial contribution of shares in his company and NCDXF was off and running.

In the decades since its formation, NCDXF has become the premier DX foundation in the world.  We are supported by amateurs from all around the globe who believe in our mission of supporting DXpedtions worldwide.  The annual financial contributions from these supporters, who receive our Newsletter four times a year, make it possible for NCDXF to carry out its principal activities.

(L to R): Ross Forbes (K6GFJ), Don Schliesser (K6RV) (SK) , Jack Troster (W6ISQ) (SK), Vince Chinn (W6EE)
Think this is just a bunch of grumpy "old men"?  Not really! At a December 2011 luncheon held in Palo Alto (CA), Ross Forbes, K6GFJ, NCDXF Director, presented Jack Troster, W6ISQ, with his "Founders" Polo shirt on behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors.  Two of the other original 4 Founders of NCDXF -- Donald Schliesser, K6RV, and Vincent Chinn, W6EE -- also attended the luncheon.  The 4th Founder, Lee Shaklee, W6BH, was unable to attend.

DXpedition Support

In keeping with the original goal of the founders, NCDXF has supported over 500 DXpeditions, large and small.  For the expensive “mega” DXpeditions, NCDXF is often the “anchor” sponsor and its grant often makes the difference in whether the DXpedition goes forward.

International Beacon Project

In 1979 the NCDXF Board launched the NCDXF/IARU International Beacon Project to provide a mechanism for amateurs around the world to learn and understand more about radio propagation. The first beacon was designed by James Ouimet, K6OPO and Dave Leeson, W6NL. W6NL obtained the necessary licenses from the FCC.  The first beacon went on the air signing WB6ZNL on 14.100 MHz.

The current beacon system has transmitters in 18 countries, transmitting for 10 seconds on each of five bands using Kenwood TS 50s radios.  The beacon system is governed by a Beacon Committee of Peter Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN, Steve Lund, K6UM, and Charlie Mason, W4NJK. Steve Merchant, K6AW, is the Board liaison to the Beacon Committee.  The entire Beacon Team is currently engaged in a project to upgrade the Beacon system over the next three years.


In 1997, Don Doughty, W6EEN (SK), made a substantial contribution to NCDXF and designated the funds to establish an Educational Fund.  Through 2010, NCDXF has awarded over 18 scholarships to college students in amounts ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.

Financial Support

In addition to his initial contribution, Lee Shaklee has made matching grants for various NCDXF activities. Our Beacon partners, the three IARU Regions, make annual grants to the Beacon project to help defray the ongoing expenses of maintaining the Beacon system, as well as providing invaluable counsel on matters relating to the location and operation of the Beacon project.

But our primary source of funds comes from our loyal group of contributors who contribute year after year. We could not do what we do without them.  

The NCDXF Board is responsible for overseeing all of NCDXF’s activities. The Board members, and the volunteer advisors who assist them, all hold or have held responsible positions in the business, legal and academic worlds and are all active DXers. NCDXF has no paid staff and no officer, director or advisor receives any form of compensation.

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